The quiet joys and foibles of solo living.
Did anyone carry out their great creative intentions for their stay-at-home period, back in March and April 2020? I, for one, imagined myself keeping a thorough ISO diary right here. I would also:
When I recall that time, I was initially delighted to be freed from work, having been handed a redundancy. But I was used to an intense schedule and productivity habits, so I turned up to my home desk and putting in a good 30 hour week in the “work of looking for work”. In fact I was the model of job-seeking obligation. I:
I got into a daily rhythm and continued to observe weekends. I didn’t jump straight onto Netflix. I did do some decluttering – mainly in evenings while listening to podcasts.
I got into the good habit of walking or jogging every day. I lost a couple of kilos – though this was also due to some initial anxiety and associated loss of appetite, plus food-spending frugality due to initial money concerns. I didn’t allow myself many snacks.
But all that creativity? I think I dabbled briefly on one book intention. Deadlines, and having limited spare time, have always been the best discipline for me. And I had neither.
By mid-May, my double Job Seeker allowance had kicked in. I was spending so little on anything except food and bills that I managed to save. Or at the very least, prevent my savings account from being eroded. By the end of May, I realised I had one more week before my mutual obligations for Centrelink kicked in and I would have to start providing proof of job applications. I decided to give myself a full week of nothing but relaxation, self care and creativity.
As fate would have it, that’s when I was approached by at least three clients about a bunch of freelance work – with deadlines all crunching together at once. It turned out to a very busy week, money was earned, and I even felt some familiar old work stress. Needless to say, there was zero “my creative” output.
As for being alone? I was kind-of over it. Zoom catch-up sessions had started to die off, as rules began to relax and people were able to have five guests to their homes, and to visit family again. I felt left out. I even wished that Stage 3 would continue, so that introverts like me wouldn’t experience the return of FOMO.
They say be careful what you wish for. Sorry everyone. But also, they’re now saying lockdown should have been harder. Well, lockdown 2.0 is here in Victoria. This time around, I’m going to make use of my time differently. And let’s hope we can knock this on the head.